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B2B Marketing: Reasons to Adopt Social Media Marketing

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Close up of friends using smart phones.
Tim Robberts/ Taxi/ Getty Images
In recent weeks I met with a B2B company to discuss marketing options. The topic of community and social media came up and I was reminded of how difficult it has been for the B2B segment of businesses to grasp a hold of the power in social media when one business is marketing to another. The value has still not been understood. They still view this type of marketing as not relating to them, when in actuality social marketing is becoming one of the most effective ways to market online.

In today's economy B2B companies are decreasing their marketing dollars and spending more online. A recent survey by B2B Magazine revealed that over 48% of those surveyed were increasing their online marketing spend.

Why is there such an effectiveness in social media?

Truth is, so many people are tired of "marketing speak." Social media allows companies to relate to one another and bypass the fluff.

Let's take a look at what the online definition of social media, I've chosen to use the definition from wikipedia since it is user generated.

Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.

The definition alone should reveal to you how important it is that B2B companies explore social media marketing channels.

In a recent study done by KnowledgeStorm of B2B technology decision makers the following statistics were revealed:

  • 90% Participate in Video
  • 80% Participate in Blogs
  • 80% Participate in Wikis
  • 69% Participate in Social Networks
  • 53% Participate in Podcasts

In the same study it was shared that of 69% of B2B buyers use social networks "primarily for business networking and development."

At a minimum B2B businesses should at least be involved in communities and social network where there customers already are. Explore the opportunity to reach out to key influencers in your target market and optimize your content and social media applications for syndication.

I know that stepping out into social media can feel somewhat daunting for more traditional marketing team, but it doesn't have to be difficult to be successful. Chose a few initiatives that will work well for your company and gain you incremental success until you are more comfortable in really delving into the social media and applications.

Social media enables you to :

  • Share your expertise and knowledge
  • Tap into the wisdom of your consumers
  • Enables customers helping customers
  • Engages prospects through customer evangelism

Can you really afford to continue to dismiss social media has a marketing vehicle?

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